Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Alex Kingston Interview - "Lady Macbeth Freaked Me Out!"

Alex Kingston has been interviewed by "The Guardian" where she talks at length about the challenges of portraying Lady Macbeth, the difficulties of finding work in the US and, of course, "Doctor Who".

Regarding Lady Macbeth she said:
To quell her nerves, Kingston bought crystals, and is now sleeping with them beneath her pillow. "Just as a psychological pacifier," she says. "Anything would have done – it could have been a teddy." 
Actors have been talking about the curse of Macbeth since its first days on the stage in the early 17th century, when the boy who played the notorious sleepwalker Lady Macbeth was rumoured to have died of a fever. Since then, it has been held responsible for countless deaths, storms, fires and falling scenery. "I know this will probably sound very, very new-agey," says Kingston, with the glint of camp she often brings to roles, "but I think I'm also going to say some sort of prayer at the end of each performance, just to try and shut it down."
As for "Doctor Who", of course the topic that came up was that old chestnut of a female Doctor:
Over the past five years, Kingston has reached a new audience with Doctor Who, and reacts with playful, cagey laughter when asked if she'd like a woman Doctor to replace the outgoing Matt Smith. "Spoilers!" she laughs, repeating one of her character's buzzwords. "I can't say." Given that River, a time-travelling archaeologist, has been romantically involved with the Doctor, such casting could be especially progressive, creating a gay relationship for the chief protagonist. "Well, you know, I wouldn't put it past Steven," she says, referring to the show's lead writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat. She agrees this would be brilliant. "Certainly, River has always talked about 'the special one' when referring to the Doctor."
She's also very honest about the difficulties of finding work in the US:
Playing a time-traveller must have been especially pleasing in an industry obsessed with age. Now 50, Kingston says it is becoming harder to find work in the US. "When it comes to pilot season, when thousands and thousands of pilots are cast, and only eight are suitable for you – it's a really awful statistic." The year before last, she tried for a pilot "and the response was: 'She hasn't had plastic surgery.'" No plastic surgery, no part."
In fact, that year she was turned down for every role she auditioned for: "Not young enough, not old enough, not slim enough, not plastic surgeried enough ... I know people say England is absolutely going down that same path as America, and there is more pressure on women here as well, but it's not nearly as bad. Largely, that's to do with the fact that we still have theatre. And also, I think, the public want to see people they can relate to, who still look like them."
It's a very good interview and you can read the full text here:

Alex Kingston in "The Guardian"